Fearing Trump will be tired and cranky, the White House is canceling Trump's appearance at the East Asia Summit according to the Washington Post. Aides to the President fear that Trump will be even more unpredictable and offensive if he makes an appearance without his requisite amount of rest.
The region is sure to read a lot into Trump’s absence, according to experts and former officials. By not attending the East Asia Summit his first year in office, even though he will already be nearby, Trump is signaling a lack of interest in the organization and the project it represents.
Asian will perceive Trump's absence as a sense of weakness by the United States.
“It is a big deal. The Obama administration made a point of investing in these regional institutions in order to demonstrate we are an Asia Pacific power, a resident power in the region. This will only raise more questions about American credibility,” said Derek Mitchell, former U.S. ambassador to Burma. “Multilateralism in Asia is often just about showing up, but even that appears to be hard for him.”
Why is Trump missing this summit?
Multiple administration officials told me there was a lengthy debate inside the Trump administration about the summit, but officials close to Trump were concerned the president did not want to stay in the region for so long and worried he could get cranky, leading to unpredictable or undiplomatic behavior.